September Member Spotlight

Photos by Dustin Nevill

Our athletes commit to their goals and make healthy lifestyle choices every day at Foxcroft and Razorback CrossFit. They become healthier, stronger, quicker, and develop their overall fitness because of their determination and hard work.  This incredible group of athletes in our growing community is devoted to helping each other and themselves become better each day.  As coaches, we feel extremely privileged to have the opportunity to work with so many like-minded, hardworking athletes to achieve their goals.

For our September installment of our Member Spotlight, we introduce Taren Swindle. Taren started CrossFit in December of 2013. She had been "Groupon hopping" for about a year, and had tried it all-bootcamp, step, Zumba, even Jazzercise! Once she tried CrossFit, she knew it was her fitness home. Every class that Taren comes to, she is encouraging and cheering on her fellow athletes and brightens everyone's day! 

What was your first CrossFit workout like? 

"My first CF workout was a basic fitness test. It was something like a 500 meter row, 40 squats, 30 sit-ups, a 20 second plank, and 10 ring rows. I think it took me nearly 10 minutes. I thought I was going to die, and I knew I had let myself get too out of shape."

What do you like most about CrossFit?

"The feeling when it’s over. Ha! Seriously though, spending an hour at CrossFit allows me to feel productive no matter what else my day has thrown at me. I know it’s time invested in my health, so I am always glad to complete a workout.  I also love the continual challenge; you can’t get away with only partial effort in a CF workout. Watching your fellow Cross-fitters crush a workout or get a new PR is also the best. It never gets old!"

Favorite exercise?  

"I love Olympic lifting.  Snatches, cleans, and jerks are my favorite. I enjoy the technical aspects and that there is always something that I can do to improve the lift."

What changes have you noticed since starting? 

"I could only clean 35 pounds when I started CrossFit. I was completely awkward in my lifts. Now, I can clean 110 pounds and am excited to see barbell movements in the workouts. I also have noticed a change in my thinking both inside and outside the box. I used to spend my WOD time thinking about how long I had been going, how tired I was, and how much longer I had to go. Somewhere along the way, I learned that it served me much better to only think about one rep at time. I am trying to adopt this present moment focus and awareness more in my life as well."

What goals have you accomplished and what are the next goals you are working towards? 

"When I started, I thought I would never be able to do a double under. I worked on it for over a year before I ever got one. Now, I can string a few together. I still have a long way to go! Next, I want to tackle my nutrition. I feel like it has been a major barrier to me seeing the results I want in CF, and I know I need to do better. Who wants to hold me accountable?!" ☺

How has CrossFit helped you in your everyday life? 

"CrossFit has helped me physically, mentally, and spiritually. In the physical realm, I can keep up with my nephews all day at an amusement park with no complaints. I can last longer than my dog on long hikes. I can help my husband get an old dryer to the curb without trouble.  I am so grateful for my physical health and that CrossFit enables me to improve my function in other aspects of life.

Mentally, I feel like I am able to face the difficulties of life with more persistence. My WOD mantra has become, “Embrace the struggle.” I know that I am getting stronger and better when a WOD is difficult. I think that is often true in life as well.  Although it stinks in the midst of a tough situation, I can come out on the other side of it with better character if I allow myself to learn the lessons I need to learn.

In my faith, I sometimes lose focus on the importance of the process of spiritual formation. CrossFit promises that if you show up and complete the WODs, you will get stronger and fitter with time—even though individual days and exercises may be a struggle. Christ promises that if we seek after Him, we can improve the lives of those around us and join him in heaven when our life is over—again, even though individual days and situations may be a struggle. In both situations, trusting the process and staying focused on the goal is key."

What advice would you give to someone new to CrossFit, or is thinking about joining? 

"Come do a WOD with me.  We’ll get through it together. You’ll want to come back."

"I want to thank my coaches, both present and past. Their investment in supporting me and my fellow Cross-fitters does not go unnoticed. It takes special people to show up for work each day with a smile and pour encouragement into others. That’s exactly what our coaches do."